April, 2014

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6th Apr 2014

The Disney CRP was not what I Expected


Everyone went out on my program with some idea of what the experience was going to be like. I think without fail everyone had a very different experience than they expected. I once again went out and asked ex-CRPs for what they were most surprised about. This time instead of writing it up I am going to give you what they had to say in their own words – I have kept them all anonymous to protect the innocent!

It’s not the job or the place, it’s the people…

“I thought all my memories before I went would all be Disney ones whether it be work or the parks and that’s what would make the programme so good. But I know it sounds corny but it was the people and the friends you make that make the programme so good”

It’s not all pixie dust…

“I thought I was going to get over there and everyone was going to be these saints – bed early every night. But little did I know there was pretty much a night out for every night of the week. There was definitely this whole “work hard, play hard” thing going on. And I feel like I should deffo mention I was surprised how much I enjoyed Happy Mondays, because when I first got there it didn’t sound appealing but once you go it’s amazing. And to save the best for last I was surprised at the fact that not many people went to the legendary Parliament House Resort on a Sunday because it was always an amazing night!!”


“I didn’t realize that there would be so many people working there that weren’t really all that into Disney but more into the social/partying aspect of it all.”

It all goes by so fast, try new things, you might like them!

” I didn’t even know what Lasses was before I went and I was terrified all the way through my first one, but once I gave it a chance it became one of the absolute best parts of my program. Being made Head Lass was one of my proudest moments (ever!).


I also didn’t expect how quickly your friends turned into your family (super cheesy). I made some of my best friends in that year but I felt like we were already really close just a few weeks in.


I definitely didn’t expect certain guests to be so stupid. Asking them what countries made up the UK and getting Belgium and Australia as answers was interesting!


But I think the biggest thing I didn’t expect was how bloody quickly the year goes. You think when you are going away for a year that it’s going to feel like ages, but time flies by and before you know it it’s time to go home and the whole thing feels like a dream. So I would definitely have told June 2012 me to make the most of every opportunity that I came across. I’m still annoyed I never went on a cruise”

People become really good friends not just workmates…

“I didn’t go to Lasses for ages when I first got there because I was terrified of standing up in front of everyone and answering personal questions because I was only just coming out. I didn’t realise how accepting everyone actually would turn out to be.”

Sometimes you just have to forget everything you thought it would be…

“I was not expecting to make so many friends, I didn’t know that F&B got tipped hence not knowing I would be making good money.


I thought I would miss my family more!


I didn’t expect to go out getting smashed most nights like it was Magaluf!


I didn’t realise I would be suicidal when I got home!”

Whatever your expectations about your program they will probably be wrong. My advice and I think that of everyone I have spoken to is to go with the flow, you will get the most from your program if you roll with the punches. I know I did lots of things that I never thought I would and I thoroughly enjoyed (most of) them.

Have you done a program? What were your expectations and were they correct? Did you enjoy the fact that it wasn’t what you expected?

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1st Apr 2014

Packing Tips for the Disney CRP

3d illustration: A group of trunks

Packing to leave home for a year, to go somewhere you have never been, to do something you have never done, with people you have never met is understandably an incredibly daunting task! Every person I have spoken to has said that if they did it again they would do something differently – take something, not take something, take less, take more. I definitely got it very wrong on my first program so I thought it would be a good idea to get advice from ex-CRPs and put it all together in a Disney CRP packing guide. Here is the collected wisdom of CRP 2011/2012/2013!

Take one suitcase
You do not need to take your entire life with you and after a year you will have a lot more to bring home than you took out. If you start with one it will become two but if you start with two it will become three. Remember you have to get it through the airport, through housing and up potentially two flights of stairs to your apartment – that is a lot of work with two bags. You then also have to store it for a year, probably under your bed – there is plenty of space for one bag but two is pushing it.

Pack sheets, a travel pillow and a towel
You might not make it to Walmart on your first night – especially if you are delayed. Sleeping under a towel or in your clothes is horrendous after 12+ hours of travelling. Sheets mean you can at least make the bed and get some sleep, you can worry about a comforter in the morning. Not being able to take a shower after arriving in a hot, sticky country after sitting in a seat for 9 hours would be horrific – pack a lightweight towel and buy a full size one on the first trip to WalMart. The towel could even double as a pillow if you needed it to.

Pack Jeans, a hoody and a warm pair of shoes
Sure it’s hot in Florida a lot of the time but it does get cold – very cold on occasion. The first time it happens it will take you by surprise. Everyone gets this wrong… Pack some layers and be ready for UK autumn temperatures especially in the evenings. Bare arms or legs will be freezing!

Take travel sized toiletries
No matter which housing complex you are in you are no more than a 10 minute walk from a pharmacy. Take enough toiletries to last you a few weeks while you get settled and then go out and buy full size stuff – this will save you a lot of weight. The only exception to this is spray deodorant – the Americans have never heard of it. If that is your preference you will want to take some with you but bear in mind that is a lot of weight to give up for a year’s supply.

Take some paracetamol
CRP life is stressful – American’s do some greet painkillers but I am yet to find anything as good as UK Paracetamol. Take a box for when that headache kicks in and you just need to power through.

Take a mac
Not the computer kind but a lightweight jacket! Between March and October it rains, a lot. Umbrellas are all well and good but in torrential rain they only keep you so dry. Florida storms will make you look like you’ve just stepped out of the bath in about 20 seconds and you will be freezing all day. A waterproof coat is a godsend.

Vacuum Bags are a TRAP
Vacuum bags might seem like a great idea to get more in but they will probably just out you overweight – proceed with caution!

Take some pictures from home
The first few days will be a roller-coaster of emotions and a likely lack of internet access means contacting home might be a challenge. Take some photos (actual not digital) to put up in your room, they are very bare otherwise and they are a great way to stave of the homesickness until you can get back in touch. Avoid big, bulky sentimental stuff though, you’ll only regret it when it is using up your weight allowance coming home.

Take sunscreen
Sure after a little while you will get used to the sun and you won’t need it but unless you want to turn up to training looking like a tomato, pack some sunscreen. You WILL get a tan, you have a year, it doesn’t have to be on day two!

Don’t pack anything you really value
CRP life takes it’s toll on things. You will lose stuff, break stuff, shrink stuff and spill unidentifiable fluids on stuff. If you couldn’t bear to lose it don’t pack it. I went through 6 pairs of sunglasses, don’t buy expensive ones, it’s not worth it. You will most likely throw away 90% of what you take with when you start packing to come home so plan ahead.

Electronics are complicated
Different voltage in the USA means hair dryers, straighteners etc may not work or may be very low powered. The best bet is don’t bother taking the weight and just replace them from WalMart when you get there.

Take a UK extension lead
You are going to have a lot of things to charge – you only have a couple of power sockets, instead of buying a US extension lead and then loads of adapters it is much easier if you buy one adapter and plug in a UK multi-plug extension lead – sorted!

Don’t worry about ‘going out’ clothes
You will probably have 20 minutes on average to get ready to go out. Nobody really bothers to get dressed up and girls don’t bother with high heels – it’s 100 degrees outside or it’s pouring with rain – you won’t wear them! By all means take a few nice bits for a night out but make sure it’s stuff you can wear out and about as well otherwise you are just wasting space.

Remember you are not going to outer space…
You can actually buy stuff there, America has shops. Basic rule here, if you can buy it easily don’t bother taking it, it is only going to use up your weight allowance. Also don’t stress about forgetting something important, you can probably very easily buy it there and it might even be cheaper!

Good luck! And remember to smile at the nice lady at check in – she might not charge you for your grossly overweight bag :-p

Thank you to all the Ex-CRPs who helped contribute to this article, especially Alex Fanning who pretty much wrote half of it! But also thank you to Emily Moulder, Clare Trayner, Emma Spears, Holly Bailey, Claire Burgess, Nicole McCarney, Amelia Donnelly and anyone else I have forgotten. If you have any other suggestions leave them in a comment below…

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